- ThirdLove is an online bra startup that launched in 2013.
- In the past year, it has been more public about its quest to shake up the lingerie industry and disrupt longtime leader Victoria’s Secret.
- The company recently announced that it had raised $55 million in a round of funding led by consumer-focused private-equity firm L Catterton. The CEOs of 23andMe and YouTube were among the other investors.
- I decided to put it to the test.
I could probably count the number of times that I have ordered an item of clothing online and actually kept it on one hand. So, when I first heard about a startup that promises to find your perfect size and shape bra (a product that is famously hard to shop for) off the back of a 60-second online quiz, I was highly skeptical.
Clearly, others don’t share my skepticism. Buzzy online bra startup ThirdLove has quickly become one of the most talked-about brands in the industry. In November, ThirdLove publicly slammed Victoria’s Secret after an executive from the lingerie giant called the startup out in an interview in Vogue. Last month, the company announced that it had raised $55 million in a round of funding led by consumer-focused private-equity firm L Catterton.
ThirdLove invites customers to take a quiz on its website to determine which size and style bra they should buy. According to the company, over 12 million women have taken this quiz, and each time they take it and submit feedback, the algorithm becomes even smarter.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Heidi Zak, co-founder and co-CEO of this husband-and-wife-run company, said that that the brand isn’t considering opening stores (at least at the moment) because its whole premise is built around making bra shopping possible online.
“I started the company so a woman wouldn’t have to go to the store,” she told Business Insider. “No one wants to go bra shopping. Technology is improving, everything is evolving. My focus is on digital and continuing to build on it for this category.”
With this in mind, we decided to put ThirdLove to the test:
The first stage of the process is to determine the correct size and shape of the bra you should get. In place of a physical fitting, ThirdLove offers its fit-finder quiz.
Zak said that over 12 million women have taken the quiz.
“The algorithm gets smarter and smarter,” she said. “The more women that do it, the more patterns we see.”
In the first question, you are asked to provide your usual cup and band size as well as your favored brand.
We put in a 32D size for the purpose of this test.
Zak told Business Insider in September that the company recently added a question about the age of a customer’s current bra to the quiz. This is because bras can stretch over time, so it helps ThirdLove to account for this when considering sizes.